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Conversation Center
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Conversation Center

Building an Inclusive Iowa 

One Conversation at a Time

The UI Conversation Center works to build informal and intercultrual communication skills at the University of Iowa. Our program is unique as our undergraduate conversation partners are trained in a 3-credit service-learning course RHET 2090: Conversation Practicum (available to Confident English-Speaking Domestic and International Students). These partners host dedicated one-on-one appointments (currently fully online), as well as embedding directly into ESL courses (including Iowa, high schools, and international universities in the near future--contact Director Ben Hassman for more information). Our programming includes:

  • One-on-one Appointment Program with trained conversation partners (see how to book below!) 
  • Our innovative ESL Embedding Program 
  • Collaborations beyond the University including our Community Conversation, working with local non-profits like MERGE (part of ICAD) and Friendship Community Project (teaching ESL) to support acculturation and linguistic skills & confidence amongst adult immigrant and refugees in the Iowa City community

How to Make a Conversation Appointment

Click the "Make an Appointment" button at the top right of this page (in the new tab make sure Conversation Center is chosen from the drop-down menu). You may reserve a maximum of 5 hours each week (either 1/2-hour or hour). Appointments are reserved on-line on a first-come, first-served basis, and we welcome anyone associated with the University, including undergrad and grad students, faculty, staff, and family members. For more help, check out these helpful PDFs on booking:

Booking Appointment Instructions PDF

Booking Repeating Appointment Instructions

Find Your Appointment

Traditionally conversations are held in various University Libraries and other student-friendly locations. Currently all conversations take place online. After booking your appointment, you can return to the scheduler 5 minutes or so before your appointment, click on the appointment box, and then click "Start or Join Online Consultation".



Director Benjamin Hassman, PhD:

Assistant Director Sonja Mayrhofer, PhD: